Friday, June 1, 2018

Who is Pete the Cat?

Get to know the hippest cat in town, here are a few words from leading man, Zachary Hansbany, also known as Pete the Cat!

 Hi everyone! I’m Zachary Hasbany, playing Pete in Pete the Cat. I just got back from traveling the country with BACT’s national tour of the wonderful Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site. 

BACT has become quickly another home for me, so I’m excited to share Pete the Cat with everyone starting on June 16th.  Pete is a musician cat in the 1960’s with many philosophies, especially that “life is a really really really big adventure.” Even when he gets caught by the cat-catcher, and blunders his way into a chaotic family environment, Pete keeps a positive attitude and adventures on. Getting to play Pete is such a delightful experience, because we can all learn from his perspective.

 On the roads that we take in life, it’s important to try hard with 100% effort, but when we get derailed, we can learn, adapt, and enjoy our new path. 

When we encounter a difficult path, we can remember another “’Pete Philosophy’ – life takes courage; be brave.” Keeping that in mind, I hope to see you all at this show, so we can enjoy this “groovalicious beautiful adventure” together!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Beautiful Oops! Activity Guide

It's hard to find a better book for fun, messy, creative activities than Barney Saltzberg's Beautiful Oops!  So, put on some paint clothes, and get ready to make something awesome out of even your worst "mistake."

Straw Blowing Art
What's more fun than bendy straws AND paint?  Probably nothing.  Practice fine motor skills and see what your paint splatter turns into.  The possibilities are infinite!

Tearing Paper
How many silly ways can you tear a piece of paper?  Put on your thinking cap and your yoga pants to explore the crazy ways you can tear paper, and create an art project.

Baking Soda Paint
Creativity explodes with this recipe that creates fun, fizzy paint.  What will your shapes create?

Torn Newspaper Art
Don't toss yesterday's paper in the recycle bin.  Instead tear it into shapes, and let those shapes determine what you paint!  It's fun, and eco-friendly!

Do you have any other ideas for Oops art?  Love everything Beautiful Oops?  We would love to hear from you!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beautiful Oops! Jr Blogger Report

Our Jr. Blogger Sophie Knipp talks all about Beautiful Oops!

Beautiful Oops! is a very creative show where six animal friends come together to make a great show! The problem is: everyone keeps making mistakes. 

The show Beautiful Oops! shows very artistic sets and colorful scenes. “Lots of fun; and a lot of scenery overload,” says Hanna McPheron who plays the Stage Manager in the show.

One example of the very artistic set was during the fishing scene when the character Bunny, played by Mary Gibboney, learns that that her friends will always be there for her, even if she makes mistakes. The back wall of the set falls down at the start of the fishing scene, revealing a sheer fabric. You can see moving lights shaped as fish behind the fabric. It looks like a lake!

The set also had 3 projection screens that dropped down from the ceiling during scene changes. The artistic projections were of animated kids talking about art. 

Another cool part of the show was when the stage went dark, and the characters danced with light up hoola-hoops and ropes. The audience also participated. We were given tea lights and an activity bucket at the start of the show. We turned on the tea lights when the stage went dark, and colored a sticker that we stuck on the back of the stage wall at the end of the show. My sister, JoJo (7) especially liked to add her art work to the set.  “I like all the ways all the art supplies work in the show,” says Anna Smith, who plays the part of Alligator. 

There is a lot of sarcasm in this show! Even adults were laughing! One character named Pig, played by Andrew Mondellow, dreams of having a car. He sings the song, “Pig in a Car” which is a hysterical rock song. He always makes the audience laugh. On the way out of the theater, I heard people saying that the show was really funny!  

The other characters in the show are very playful too! Crocodile, played by Anna Smith; Elephant, played by Kevin B. Johnson; and Penguin, played by Amanda Nguyen love to do many things together! They play, sing ,dance, and make beautiful mistakes. 

Making mistakes is beautiful! It’s OK if you make mistakes. Good friends will always forgive you. Come and make beautiful mistakes and artwork with the cast of BACT’s show, Beautiful Oops!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

JR Blogger Chris Enjoys Willy Wonka

Junior Blogger, Chris Eppley, tells us all about his Willy Wonka experience.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Friday, January 12, 2018 1n San Francisco the Children’s Theater had the play “Willy Wonka” playing. This performance had great service before the play, after the play, and during the 15 minute intermission. Right before the performance “Willy Wonka” herself came out and pointed out the emergency exits and gave credit to all the companies that helped to make the play possible. The characters were enthusiastic, funny, creative, exciting, sad at some times and happy at other times. The cast was talking to the audience. An oompa loopa puppet high-fived a little girl in the audience.  

The boring parts of the movie and book were changed into songs.

The cast “twisted it up” a bit. Willy Wonka, the Candy Man, poor guy, Grandma Georgina, and Phineous Trout were played by Mary Gibboney. Charlie Bucket by Juan Castro. Oompa loompa #1, Mrs. Bucket, and Mrs. Gloop by pauli N. Amornkul. Oompa loompa #2, Veruca Salt, Matilda, Grandma Josephina, and Ms. Teavee by LeighAnn Cannon. Mike Teavee, Mr. Bucket, and Mr. Salt by Kailah Cayou. Agustus Gloop, Grampa Joe, James, and Mrs. Beauregarde by Paul Loper. Violet Beauregarde and Grandpa George by Chelsea Wellot.
A four year old named Maya says”So good.” Other audience members like the simple set, the part of Wonka retiring, just the show itself, the music, characters, and singing. Also, for the adults there are some jokes involving the card game “Gin.” There are famous names used like Edgar Allan Poe. For an exciting part of the play there are “BUBBLES!” (Veruca Salt quote)

Interviews with Agustus and Violet:
Chris: How long did you practice?
Agustus: 5 weeks.
Violet: 5 weeks.
Chris: What were your favorite parts?
Agustus: My number “I Eat More!”
Violet: Working with Oompa Loompas and pretending to lick Charlie’s hand.
Chris: Anything you just want to say that’s not in the other questions?
Augustus: Since there weren’t many people who had screens who weren’t rich at the time the play was based on it’s a good experience to go to a play, not a movie.
Violet: The cast worked well together overcoming things like our original Wonka calling in sick at the last minute.
Chris: Your original Wonka was sick?
Violet: Yes the original Wonka was a man. This Wonka is a woman.
Chris: I couldn’t even tell she didn’t get as much practice as the rest of you guys!
Violet: Yep. That’s why she’s called Madam Wonka in this production.
Chris: Instead of Mister Wonka.
Violet: Yep.

Chris: Thanks Agustus. Thanks Violet. Bye.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jr. Blogger Review: Willy Wonka

  Junior Blogger, Alex Eppley, tells us all about Willy Wonka!

I loved Willy Wonka. 

It was nice how they made the beginning a song instead of an introduction. I liked how the stage was shaped like a peppermint. Though, it was purple.
         Then, it was super funny how they made the grandparents not hear well. I liked how Charlie had two failed golden ticket attempts instead of one. I also liked the candy man, he was hilarious in every way.  Really, everything was great.

The ticket interviews were awesome!

I can tell you one thing about each of the characters. Charlie and the other Buckets think positive. Violet Beauregarde likes to chew a lot of gum, Veruca Salt is bossy and spoiled, Augustus Gloop eats a lot, and Mike Teavee is a screen zombie. Oh! The grandparents like gin.
         When there is only one golden ticket left. Charlie goes to the candy man and finds a nickel. The candy man gives him a free Wonka bar. It has no ticket =(. He buys a Wonka bar with his found nickel and finds a golden ticket =)!

         At intermission I interviewed three kids. 

Maya thinks the five year old based Willy Wonka play is great, even at only four years old. She likes that Charlie got the golden ticket. Rian likes Willy Wonka because of the shiny golden ticket, he says he likes everything. Ramona likes that Willy Wonka makes candy, her father Geoff  like the songs and the dancing. They were surprised Willy Wonka was a woman.

         Then the second half was great, and at the end I interviewed LeighAnn Cannon, who played Veruca Salt. LeighAnn likes the theater because it gives her an opportunity to do new things in the show. It’s been a dream role of hers since she was 10 and it was great to finally sing Veruca’s famous song in the play. But most of all, she really likes the members in the cast.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BACT Junior Blog: Elephant and Piggie, We are in a play!

Here's another post from our Junior Blogger, Sophie Knipp!

The best plays based on books always. . . 

have humor, audience interaction, span many ages, a strong and talented cast, fun music, and keep true to the message of the books. Well, I would say that the BACT production of Elephant and Piggie playing in Sunnyvale has all of that!

Gerald the Elephant, played by Alan Coyne, was fun to watch as he and his best friend Piggie went to a party, had ice cream, played together, and put on a play within a play with their 3 friends, the Squirelles, 3 pretty, rodent singing divas.

In Act 2 Gerald, Piggie, and the Squirelles interact with the audience. They lead us in dance moves, singing, and clapping to the beat - making the audience feel part of the play. Adults and kids of all ages joined in the fun! 

The music was very silly - dramatic, exciting, sad, and funny. Very funny! Elephant’s surprise dramatic solo in Act 1 was one of the standout performances in the show. 

The cast was very very strong. It was amazing how talented they were. Their voices, their dance moves, and their acting was fantastic!

The set was a simple but creative design that had a backdrop that looked like the different pages of the Mo Willems books. The costumes were also very simple but creative. Instead of animal costumes, the actors looked like normal people, but with pieces that looked like the animal they were playing. 

The message of the show is “that true friends can get you through anything”, said Alan Coyne. Just like the books, Elephant and Piggie get through obstacles together as friends, solving problems and finding solutions.

BACT’s production of Elephant and Piggie, We Are In A Play was overall very enthusiastic and fantastic to watch! The next show I will be blogging about is BACT’s Beautiful Oops. Stay tuned! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beautiful Oops A Note From the Director

Dear Friends,

When was the last time you celebrated a mistake?  REALLY celebrated. Dance-around-the kitchen-throw-confetti-in-the-air-and-call-grandma celebrating…

“You learn from your mistakes” is a mantra that many of us as parents find ourselves repeating.  Mistakes are interesting things, and we know that it’s good to let our kids make mistakes. And though we often say it when consoling a frustrated child, we know know from history that mistakes are actually wonderful opportunities!  Opportunities to learn and grow and try something new. Thomas Edison failed over 1000 times before his light bulb was a success.

As part of the process for creating this show, I had the joy of interviewing kids about the “Beautiful Oops!” moments they experience when they are creating.  I was overwhelmed by the wisdom young people possess. They described using a mistaken blotch of paint to make a new figure, adding on to geometric designs in new and unexpected patterns, and remembering the “show must go on” no matter what happens.  As we rehearsed the show, we tried to remember these same themes, allowing the mistakes that happen in the room to inspire things that you’ll see on the stage today.

In my own home, I am also trying to apply these valuable lessons. 

That “oops” should be a guiding path and not a pain point.  Growing up is a slow and steady process that requiresmistakes.  My two-year-old needs to spill the milk in order to learn how to use the big kid cup. But, the next time that milk spills, I’m faced with two choices: I can get annoyed with the mess and tell her to be more careful, or I can congratulate her on graduating to the big kid cup and learning that big kid cups spill. Oops.

Which option will we choose? I vote for the latter. Let’s look for the beautiful in EVERY oops. Because honestly, who wants to send their kid to college with a sippy cup?